Hi, my daughter and I just signed up for this forum, and we are learning a lot about cruises. We are relatively new to cruising, and this is our first post. We have previously taken a four day cruise on the RCI Sovereign of the Seas last summer. It was great.
Our family will be taking a nine day Caribbean cruise out of Cape Liberty on March 27 of 2009, and we were wondering if there will be anyone going on that particular cruise and,
What will it be like sailing out of New Jersey/NY in March?
MStick-Welcome to cruise-chat! You will find that you will spend many happy and informative hours here over the years. Cruise chat is a great comfort when you are ashore and away from your next ship/cruise! We sail out of NYC frequently and are going out on the Explorer in April 09. I'd expect that it will be pleasant and smooth sailing in March. Relax, you are well outside the hurricane season in March and those days at sea are addicting and intoxicating!
You're going to be in AWE when you see the difference between the Sovereign of the Seas and the Explorer of the Seas. I've been on the Explorer several times, but never sailed out of Cape Liberty. I'm sure you have a boat load of questions, and Cruise-Chat is the best place to get the answers.
Thanks for the responses. I know we are all certainly excited about it. We have six in our family and our oldest daughter is taking a friend along as kind of a high school graduation gift, so there will be seven of us altogether. On the Sovereign we had oceanview rooms, but this time we went for two balcony rooms. From what I have been reading, it will be quite nice with a balcony. Looking forward to it.
We will be leaving tomorrow on the Explorer of the seas with three teenage boys. We are taking the 5 night cruise to Bermuda. I will let you know just how wonderful the ship is when we return. Bon voyage!!
We have sailed the Explorer twice, the first time being after a nine year-lets get the kids a bit bigger and take them hiatus. Even though she is no longer the newest in the fleet be prepared to walk on-board and be dazzled. Even my very worldly-wise teen was bowled over by all she has to offer. A floating city indeed.
RCCL Nordic Empress 1993
RCCL Nordic Prince 1994
RCCL Explorer 2003, 2005
RCCL Navigator, 2004, 2007
RCCL Mariner 2006
RCCL Liberty 2008
RCCL Adventure 2009 Read and post cruise reviews
CruisingUSA-I wish we were going out with you! Have a Happy and Safe cruise. When you return be sure to tell all of us here at cruise-chat all about it! Above all-RELAX and ENJOY the comforts of Mother Ocean!
Well we got back from our 5 day vacation on the Explorer about 4 hours ago, and in three letters I would say WOW or OMG! The ship was incredible.
The shows are all a must see starting with the show FAST FORWARD-great singers, costumes, dancing, band... The ice show was awesome. There was a show one night on the docks of Bermuda with a ventriloquist(don't think I spelt that right) and a juggler -must see performance if they have it on the other cruises, and of course a comedian. Game shows and bingo were also alot of fun to watch and participate in.
My 3 teenagers had a ball. Many competitions with ping pong, basketball, minature golf(never a real wait, I think my kids played two rounds a day), and air hockey to name a few. My one son who met a few other teenagers, we saw briefly for the last 3 days typically when we passed in the elevator.
Bermuda was just as beautiful as the pictures. We only went to Horshoe Bay beach and I can't even imagine a beach more breathtaking then this one. The sun was brutally hot but the water temp was perfect and the waves came in around 1:00 and they were a nice size. We paid a bit more for a 20 minute taxi ride about $33without tip compared to the bus for $20 for the 5 of us, and it was well worth it when we found out the bus broke down and everyone had to wait for another. The shopping at the dockyard was small not a lot to buy unless your into jewlery -the glass blowing shop is a must see and must buy. We didnt see the other cities but people who went had wonderful things to say.
The food was good, a few items great such as the sirlion and the tiger shrimp (when I asked for more shrimp i got two more plates YUM). We ate in the dining room every night and the crew were very warm. The windjammer was good. Huge selection and never a line.
It took 4 of the 5 days to figure out which side of the boat I was on when I took the elevator down. Several floors you can not walk through and have to cross over on others and of course I always had to walk the length of the ship to get to my room. This is a good thing though especially when you pass the cafe promenade and get a pastry or a few cookies and then walk off the calories. If you constantly check the boat maps by the elevator you will get to your destination.
Two small but fun things to do is to walk on the helipad area at the front of the boat. They have benches there and also check out the Peek a boo bridge on the 11th you can see the captain's station.
The parades were alot of fun also. The costumes again were amazing and the talent of the performers was top notch.
The pools were smaller then what I thought they would be, but I guess you have to give up something to get everything else they had.
Arriving in Bayonne was a piece of cake. We got to Port boulavard road about 11:30 for a 2:00 boarding, waited in the car for about 20 minutes while the ship was letting off people from the cruise that just arrived that morning. Once we started to move in the car(about 11:50) between unloading luggage, parking the car, checking in, having our picture and seapass validated and taking a bus to the entryway we were in the windjammer by 12:30, and venturing on the ship by 12:50. Port Bayonne is definately the way to go, no traffic, no tolls, no planes, just a pleasure. Getting off the boat was just as smooth. I called the night before to see what order our color was going to be called and we were 5th in line after Express people (those walking off with their luggage. Express took the longest from about 8:30 to about 9:10 and our color was called about 9:40, so we had plenty of time to have breakfast, and sleep until 7:45.
A few disappointments that I think should be updated on the website regarding this ship and perhaps a few were for this particular cruise only. They only offered fruit punch on the last day and of course if your not a soda drinker especially a child your only choices were lemonade or ice tea or water. The oceanic lab had actually been closed down according to a crew member for some time now, I was curious to see this. Also the Grill was not available as a dining option, again we were told it wasn't on this ship even though it is on the map of the boats. Be careful not to leave any clothes on the floor in the bathroom, my sons bathing suit which was the same color as the towels, was grabbed with the towels and we never saw it again, the room attendent did check the next few days but said they sometimes don't get to the bags for a day or two. And of course laudry facilities. You can do a few things in the sink but its limited. I can't believe i'm going to say this but I would of loved to do a load of laundry especially socks, underwear, and the bathing suits from the beach. I'm now on my 4th load since being home and I would of preferred to spend an hour doing a load or two on the boat midway throught the trip. We did use the dry cleaning services for a few things but its kind of silly to pay 1.25(I think the prices went up a bit from the list on the website) for a pair of socks although they were ironed, something I don't do at home.
We had two inside cabins 160 sq feet next door to each other and there was enough room. There is a light on the side of both beds with a small night light feature so you do not need nightlights. I brought a few plug adapters, but of course they didn't do much because the two outlets were next to each other and you can only fit one on being that a cabinet ran down the one of the sides. An additional outlet would of been nice across the desk side.
Reception on cell phones was not very good while sailing, but in Bermuda it was fine. Check rates with your local carrier. I know with verizon texting was the option we used. The architect of the showers gets a standing ovation from me. It was amazing how it fits into the bathroom. It reminds me of the capsules used on the Jetsons. I would love one for my boys at home, much less cleaning.
All in all this was a perfect vacation. 5 days is nice amount of time, I probably could of done 7 days but I don't think much more. Because there was only one stop,this was a perfect amount of time and enough to do for our family! So for all you first timers(of course i'm now in a new category-experienced cruiser. Enjoy your trip. If you have any specific questions I will try to answer them.